Captains Rally Late, Take Walk-Off Loss to End First Half
(Fort Wayne, IN) - The Lake County Captains (40-29) fought back from a 3-0 deficit in the ninth inning on Sunday and nearly came away with a dramatic victory to end the first half, but ended up falling in walk-off fashion to the Fort Wayne TinCaps (33-35). In the bottom of the ninth, Tucupita Marcano's RBI single lifted the TinCaps to a 4-3 win at Parkview Field.
Until the ninth inning, the only run-scoring play of the ballgame came in the bottom of the first. Marcano singled with one out and Grant Little worked a walk against Captains starter Juan Mota. Agustin Ruiz came up with one out and cranked a three-run home run to right-centerfield to give Fort Wayne a 3-0 lead.
TinCaps starter Gabe Mosser pitched four scoreless innings and four Fort Wayne relievers followed suit, each tossing one scoreless frame. Lefty Cody Tyler and right-handers Carlos Belen, Henry Henry and Jose Quezada combined to blank Lake County and maintain the TinCaps' 3-0 advantage into the ninth.
Righty Austin Smith came in for the ninth and the Captains jumped on the sixth TinCaps pitcher they saw that day. Hosea Nelson singled down the left field line and Henry Pujols smoked a triple into the left-centerfield alley that brought Nelson around to score. Quentin Holmes came up next and hit a bouncing ball to third baseman Luis Almanzar, who yanked the throw to first. Pujols scored and Holmes sprinted all the way to third to cut the TinCaps' lead to 3-2 and put the tying run on third base. Two batters later, Daniel Schneemann tied the score with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Holmes to make it 3-3. The Captains nearly took the lead, as Jose Fermin singled and stole second, but Smith struck out Bo Naylor to keep the score tied.
The TinCaps put the heat on the Captains in the bottom of the ninth. Michael Curry led off with a single to right off of Captains reliever Skylar Arias. After Justin Lopez popped out to second base, Luis Roman singled to put men on first and second. Lee Solomon came in to pinch run for Curry at second, but Naylor promptly threw him out at third when the runner took off for third on a ball in the dirt. With Roman on first and two outs, Arias walked Almanzar and Xavier Edwards to load the bases for Marcano. The lefty-hitting second baseman sliced a single into left that brought in Roman from third with the winning run.
Arias (2-1) took the loss. The lefty allowed one run over 1.2 innings. He surrendered four hits, walked two and struck out one.
Despite suffering a blown save, Smith (1-1) picked up the win. He allowed three runs, one earned, over one inning of work. The right-hander gave up two hits, struck out two and did not issue a walk.
The Captains begin the second half of the season on Thursday night, back home at Classic Park, when they host the West Michigan Whitecaps with a 7:00 p.m. first pitch. Will Benson, Tyler Freeman and Manuel Alvarez will represent the Captains at the Midwest League All-Star Game on Tuesday at Four Winds Field in South Bend, IN.
Individual game tickets for all Captains games are on sale at the Classic Park box office, online at captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). Mini ticket plans for the 2019 season are still available for great prices complete with several exclusive benefits. Information can be found at the Captains website www.captainsbaseball.com.
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